Shirley

We need a decent living wage. The minimum wage is just not enough

I work 30 hours per week and receive £8.44 working tax credit in addition to my salary, which is a little above minimum wage but below the living wage of £7.85 per hour. I think that this leaves me very vulnerable to anything that happens unexpectedly and can leave me with no money and in crisis.

I split from my husband a year ago, and I felt I had to work nearer to home to help me save on fuel and driving costs as I couldn’t afford much just on my money.

After my rent was taken out of my bank account twice by mistake, I ended up having to go to my local food bank as the bank told me it could take up to 6 weeks to sort it out.

I agreed to take part in Real Benefits Street as I wanted to portray the truth about the majority of benefit claimants. Real Benefits Street shows genuine people facing real struggles. These people are the majority, not the 0.7% who defraud the system. In my opinion Channel 4’s Benefits Street seemed to focus in a very negative way and I do not believe it was representative of the true picture. I want to challenge the stigmatisation of people who claim benefits.

I think it’s wrong that people who are working still have to rely on benefits. I think politicians need to make sure that working means you get a living wage – that would be the best way to get people off benefits. Getting people in to low paid jobs will not help to get people completely off benefits.

I’m more than just someone receiving benefits – I do voluntary work, sing with a band called ‘The Mongrels’ and I am the proud mother of two and grandmother to three. Why should people only see me and judge me because I receive benefits?

 

 

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Shirley

We need a decent living wage. The minimum wage is just not enough

I work 30 hours per week and receive £8.44 working tax credit in addition to my salary, which is a little above minimum wage but below the living wage of £7.85 per hour. I think that this leaves me very vulnerable to anything that happens unexpectedly and can leave me with no money and in crisis.

I split from my husband a year ago, and I felt I had to work nearer to home to help me save on fuel and driving costs as I couldn’t afford much just on my money.

After my rent was taken out of my bank account twice by mistake, I ended up having to go to my local food bank as the bank told me it could take up to 6 weeks to sort it out.

I agreed to take part in Real Benefits Street as I wanted to portray the truth about the majority of benefit claimants. Real Benefits Street shows genuine people facing real struggles. These people are the majority, not the 0.7% who defraud the system. In my opinion Channel 4’s Benefits Street seemed to focus in a very negative way and I do not believe it was representative of the true picture. I want to challenge the stigmatisation of people who claim benefits.

I think it’s wrong that people who are working still have to rely on benefits. I think politicians need to make sure that working means you get a living wage – that would be the best way to get people off benefits. Getting people in to low paid jobs will not help to get people completely off benefits.

I’m more than just someone receiving benefits – I do voluntary work, sing with a band called ‘The Mongrels’ and I am the proud mother of two and grandmother to three. Why should people only see me and judge me because I receive benefits?

 

 

“I’m working, I’m on benefits, I’m not lazy. I’ve always worked right the way through having my two  kids – even as a single person I still worked. We need a decent living wage. The Minimum Wage is risible really, it’s just not enough.”

Shirley